Crazy Caprese Pasta
If you like Caprese salads than you’ll love Caprese Pasta since it brings all of the flavors of summer's most popular salad into a comfort food.
- 16 oz. whole grain orecchiette or farfalle pasta (use wheat/gluten-free if needed)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced, about 2 tsp.
- 3 cups grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup fresh basil sliced
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 8 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese cubed
- Cook the pasta in salted water according to the package directions until it is al dente.
- When the water for the pasta is almost boiling, heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat, and when it is hot, add the oil. When the oil is hot, stir in the garlic for about 30 seconds until it is fragrant, and then stir in the tomatoes.
- Sauté them, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes until they get soft and juicy. Stir in the crushed red pepper flakes for the final minute of cooking.
- In a large serving bowl, toss the tomato sauce, basil, salt and paprika with the pasta, and when it cools a bit, stir in the mozzarella. Season it with black pepper, if desired, and serve it immediately or refrigerate it for up to 2 days.
Slow Cooker Directions:
- Combine all ingredients except the pasta and mozzarella in the slow cooker, and cook on low for 7 - 10 hours or on high for 4 - 5 hours. Just before serving, stir in the mozzarella. Serve over cooked pasta and season it with black pepper, if desired. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)
Do Ahead or Delegate: Cook the pasta and store tossed with a little oil to prevent sticking, peel the garlic, make the tomato sauce, cube and refrigerate the mozzarella, or fully prepare and refrigerate the dish. Scramble Flavor Booster: Add 1 Tbsp. capers or balsamic vinegar, and/or 2 Tbsp. sundried tomatoes in oil or pesto to the sauce prior to tossing with the pasta. Tip: Try to avoid multi-tasking when you eat. (I bet we’ve all eaten lunch while staring at our computer screen to power through a deadline.) If you “quiet” other distractions (like your computer, phone or unread mail), you’ll turn your focus toward the food, and likely taste and enjoy it more, and feel very satisfied at the end of the meal. Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 345, Total Fat: 15g, 22.5%; Saturated Fat: 3g, 15%; Cholesterol: 10mg, 3.5%; Sodium: 96mg, 4%; Total Carbohydrate: 44g, 14.5%; Dietary Fiber: 7g, 27.5%; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 13g Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
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